Children’s Book Review: “What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?” by Debi Gliori (2012)

What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf? offers a strange look at a number of various nursery rhymes and fairy tales, mixing them all up in an unexpected way—similar, in a sense, to the story of Each Peach Pear Plum. What’s the Time? tracks Mr. Wolf—generally known as the terror and main “bad guy” of a host of children’s tales—throughout his day, while those who are generally known to be his victims lay out a special surprise for him.

Possibly based off the children’s game of the same name, this story teaches counting and time, but not a whole lot else. In fact, unless a child already has a fairly solid grasp of many different fairy tales, he’ll most likely get lost in the host of characters and situations and lose interest because of it, for all in all, it’s a pretty weird and convoluted story. Sadly, most children today are ignorant of the classic nursery rhymes and fairy tales that were standard fair for kids in my generation and before, so a book that introduce the characters this way (separate from their own stories) might be just enough to inoculate them from ever wanting to pursue the tales any further.

The illustrations in the book are wonderful, however, and those who do know the stories will enjoy trying to find various characters hidden throughout the pages. Because of my own background in a very literate family, I really enjoyed the book, but I just don’t think it will be a hit for newbies.

©2017 E.T.

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